Monday, August 09, 2010

A day at the Loooooovre

Today was Louvre Day and I've got lots to show and tell.

But before I get into all that, I just want to say thanks to my four faithful fans, those who visit every day and always leave nice comments. I haven't been very good about replying lately, but I want you to know I appreciate you coming along with me on this journey and sharing my adventures.

Okay... so onto the Looooovre. What an absolutely magnificent place it is. It used to be a palace, you know. Wow! But it's so overwhelming. I was there for 4 1/2 hours today and still didn't see it all. I totally skipped all the Egyptian, Oriental, Greek, and Roman art thinking I might go and see it if I felt like it after I saw all the stuff I really like... but I never did go back to those displays. I was just too tired.

I'm going to show you some of what I saw, in the order I saw it. Be forewarned: there are lots of pictures and they are not very good quality. I have a very basic camera and, as I've said before, it doesn't do well in low light or too much light, or just about any other conditions. I'll also tell you why I took the photo. I was in a bit of a sarcastic/cynical mood today, which I know is nothing new. I'm attributing it to the glut of people I had to deal with at the Louvre. So, are you ready? Here we go...

It was a bit cloudy this morning when we started out. That's pretty much par for the course. We can never tell from minute to minute what's going to happen with the weather. I started carrying around an umbrella in my purse, but today I didn't even want to carry a purse - just my cute little gathered clutch (made with Anna's tutorial) and my camera.

One of the first pieces we saw was the Winged Nike sculpture. I showed a photo of this last year when I went to the Louvre. A much better photo, actually.

I just wanted you to get an idea of how crowded it was this morning. This is the room where the Mona Lisa is kept. Can you see her...way at the back of the photo? The other photo is of the painting hanging on the wall opposite her in the same room.

Cleopatra with the snake, about to do the dirty deed. And I'm quite certain she was naked when she committed suicide. Yes, definitely she would have been.


Outside the Louvre, taken from inside the Louvre.

BIG paintings hanging up and down. That's Sandi in the green shirt and black pants. This was before we lost each other in the crush. We have made a pact to just meet back at the apartment if we get separated, which is inevitable since I prefer to "do" museums alone.

It's probably sacriligious of me to say... but what the heck is wrong with baby Jesus? Is that concentration? Pain? Or was he just a bad-tempered little boy?

David and Goliath. Check out the fashion statement David is making...

Boots just like these are in shoe stores all over Italy and France!

This is a painting by Diego Velázquez, who is quite famous for Las Meninas. I quite like his work. Except for this painting. Ugly! He probably tried to make her pretty, but it's kind of like what my friend Dave said when I complained that I didn't like a photo he took of me: "You can only work with what you have."

Does anyone else notice something wrong in this painting? Check out her left breast. Hmmm... I hope I don't look that strange when I'm lying on my back.

The sign with this painting mentioned something about people turning into frogs if they drank the water...? Do you see it?

I'm going to make another irreverant comment about the baby Jesus in this painting. This is a picture of the Holy Family resting after their flight from Egypt. Joseph is sleeping (he probably had to carry all the luggage), Mary is doing what any good mom would do - making sure the kids are fed, and Jesus... well, have a look at his face.

I find it kind of creepy that he's looking at us while he's suckling from his mother. It actually isn't as bad in the photo, but I had to go back to the painting twice to see if I was really seeing what I thought I was seeing. And I'm not the only one who noticed it. Weird.

Luckily there is a great painting of Napoleon crossing the Alps to bring me back to normalcy. I love Napoleon and that whole era of history. He is the typical little Frenchman - small, cocky, and a bit of a meglomaniac.

Another favourite painting - Liberty Leading the People. Love it!

But that particular gallery was so crowded. I was glad to get out of there.

Of course I looked up.

People were crowded around the painting of Napoleon crowning Josephine empress. This is another one of my favourites, but I didn't linger today.

Jesus looking like an old man sporting a mohawk.

Saint Sebastian is a popular subject. I love how artfully his loincloth has been draped across his midsection to protect his modesty as he is impaled with spears.

The other galleries were not crowded, for the most part. It was such a relief. There are also many places to sit and rest in the Louvre - little niches with benches or padded seats. It's really quite nice.

I took this photo for Tonya, who loves turtles. Someone tell her to come and have a look. This might give her some ideas.

These are the living quarters of Louis XVIII - the last King of France. This part of the palace has been restored and is quite modern, but the furniture is authentic.

The Louvre has a huge collection of paintings by Rubens. Well, the Louvre has a huge collection of paintings. Period.

A view of the courtyard containing Greek sculpture. I didn't make it down there, but Sandi went to have a look. She said it was wonderful. I'll take her word for it.

A room of big paintings. Of course I thought I'd remember whose paintings they were. But of course I forgot.

I love this view of the pyramid from inside the museum.

Ahhh... my Napoleon again.

I liked this painting, but her bum bothered me. I don't know why - it just doesn't look natural to me. But then I've never seen my own from behind when I'm sitting down so maybe this is just the way it's supposed to look after all.

Why is the seated lady's head so much bigger than the other girl's? It looks so out of proportion.

But no worries... here's Napoleon again!

When I go to save my baby from being eaten by a lion, my breast always pops out of my dress too. Darnit.

More huge paintings. Or maybe the people are just miniature...?

I have to wonder if this painting is some kind of statement on the skill of a painter... as in, a monkey could do this job...?

There was an entire room of paintings that were requisitioned by Louis XIV, including this portrait of him.

Another huge painting. Another room full of these huge paintings by an artist I thought I'd remember but didn't.

When I finally left the Louvre this afternoon, it was bright and sunny outside... and hot! What a nice surprise. I walked back to our neighbourhood, picked up some groceries at the Monoprix and went home for lunch. Sandi beat me home, of course. After lunch, I went for a long walk in search of a purple Parisian purse for the OnlyChild, to go with the purple Parisian pumps I bought her (that match the red shoes I bought for 5€). I was not successful in my quest, but I have vowed to seek until I find the perfect bag!

Thanks for staying with me through all the photos and the tongue-in-cheek comments. You know I really do love art and museums so I don't mean to poke too much fun at them. Sometimes, though, you just can't take it so seriously. After all, I am on vacation!

A demain...


Patty said...

I've always dreamed of going to the Louvre. Thank you for sharing.

Jo said...

Loved today's post! We are headed to Paris on Friday, and your posts have really been an enjoyable warm up. Thanks


Thimbleanna said...

Note to self: Visit Paris in the early spring or late fall. Eeeek -- those crowds would drive me crazy! You're so funny too -- just be sure that your buttons are fastened for the rest of your trip -- wouldn't want your breast to go flying!

Pat said...

haHA....never did I think I would laugh so hard when viewing photos (and comments) about the Louvre!!! You are a RIOT, Rachel!!! I will go now and tell Tonya to get her royal patootie over here to see the turtle! (Remember...if you see anything to do with penguins, you'll need to get a photo of that for me, but I seriously doubt you'll find anything like that in Paris!!! LOL)

Unknown said...

Pat sent me the picture, I might even steal it as my present from the Louvre. I must say, it does have me thinking...hmmmmm. Those crowds are crazy! I would go nuts.

Stacy said...

I would love to see the Louvre. Your little comments cracked me up. I've been absent from blogland the last four or five days, so I need to get caught up on your trip. Off to read your previous posts ...

andsewon said...

Thanks for the nice tour and the running commentary! Such fun! Whoa!! Those crowds would not do well for me! Now when I think of the Louvre I think of Brooke Shields as one of ancestor grandmothers was born there!Saw that on a show with her searching her roots.
Hope ya find that purple purse soon!

QuilterPattiO said...

Your comments are a hoot! I thought them also before I read them and laughed even more. Wow Louis XIV had legs that the Rocketts (sp) would enjoy for their kicks on Broadway! Love the photos and wish I could go to the Louvre one day when it was not so crowded. PattiO

Riel Nason said...

Thanks for the tour and the commentary! ;-) I would love to visit there someday!

PunkiePie (Jen) said...

Love it! You made me laugh and I sooo needed that!

Quilting Lab said...

Well... really enjoy being a follower! Learning so much....
Louvre was a palace
Napolean was cute
Already new museums take time and crowds are lousy!
Your comments are fun, so agree with you on them!

Pat said...

WHAT is THIS???? NO blog post yet for August 10???? I need to go to sleep soon and get my beauty rest, but I'll check again once more before I shut the computer down for the night. (I somehow doubt you'll be posting now, though, as it must be about 2:30 a.m. on the 11th in Paris already!)

Dogwood said...

Rachel~You are truly so funny. You actually had me laughing out loud. Thanks. I needed that as I often take going to art exhibits and museums way too serious. After reading this post, it may never be the same for me. He he.

Stacy was in Grass Valley with me over the weekend. We had so much fun doing crafts, talking and eating along with lots of laughing. Fun.

Hugs, Cory

Vesuviusmama said...

Wow, look at those crowds! And I can see where you were coming from with all your comments. I'll just add that creepy Jesus who was looking at us while nursing also looked to be about the size of a 4-year-old. Shouldn't he be drinking from a cup?